How and why did the early church grow in the first four hundred years despite disincentives, harassment, and occasional persecution? In this unique historical study, veteran scholar Alan Kreider delivers the fruit of a lifetime of study as he tells the amazing story of the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Challenging traditional understandings, Kreider contends the church grew because the virtue of patience was of central importance in the life and witness of the early Christians. They wrote about patience, not evangelism, and reflected on prayer, catechesis, and worship, yet the church grewnot by specific strategies but by patient ferment.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Alan Kreider (1941-2017; PhD, Harvard University) was professor emeritus of church history and mission at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. For many years he lived in England, where he was director of the London Mennonite Centre and later director of the Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent's Park College, Oxford University. Kreider authored several books.
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroductionPart 1: Growth and Patience1. The Improbable Growth of the Church2. The Good of Patience3. Push and PullPart 2: Ferment4. Christians as Agents of Growth5. Communities as Cultures of PatiencePart 3: Forming the Habitus6. Catechesis and Baptism7. Worship8. "Wise Doves" in the Didascalia apostolorumPart 4: The Transformation of Patience9. The Impatience of Constantine10. Augustine and the Just ImpatienceIndex